- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2003

Senator gets ticket
Sen. Alexander X. Mooney, the Western Maryland Republican whose quest to outlaw red-light cameras recently intensified when he got a ticket because the man who stole his car ran a red light, has his car back.
Mr. Mooney's blue 1999 Saturn was spotted by an off-duty police offer, the same officer who took the stolen vehicle report from Mr. Mooney. The officer followed the car into the District, where police surrounded it and arrested the driver.
The car had some minor damage to the front end, and the interior was full of rubbish, including briefcases, children's clothes, ladies shoes and at least one package of condoms.
"I feel like my car has been violated," Mr. Mooney said.
Although he has his car back, his fight against the red-light ticket isn't over. It's another reason the cameras should be banned, he said.
"Now I have to pay to get a police report, and then spend the time to go to court to prove I am innocent," Mr. Mooney said. "Right now, I'm considered guilty guilty until proven innocent That's not the way it is supposed to be in America."
Lessons in liberty
Public school students in Maryland could get a lesson in the price of freedom and liberty every September if Sen. Larry Haines gets his way.
"In light of the events of September 11, 2001, I think it is appropriate that we get more teaching into the public school system regarding the tenets of our country," Mr. Haines, Carroll Republican, said of his resolution to create Celebrate Freedom Week.
The resolution urges public schools to spend the third week of each September studying the Declaration of Independence and thinking about the sacrifices made by Americans in pursuit of liberty and freedom.
Freedom Week would not be mandated, but educators would be encouraged to provide three hours of instruction on the founding principles of the United States.
"The concern I have is that young people coming up are not being taught the truth about American history," Mr. Haines said.
Sabatini joins Ehrlich
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. filled the last vacancy on his Cabinet on Friday, nominating Nelson Sabatini to be state health secretary.
Mr. Sabatini, 62, served as secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene under two former governors, William Donald Schaefer and Parris N. Glendening. He is currently the executive vice president for community hospital integration and network development for the University of Maryland Medical System.
Mr. Ehrlich said he and Mr. Sabatini "go back a long way."
After leaving state government in 1995, Mr. Sabatini took a job as a vice president of the University of Maryland Medical System. He later was promoted to senior vice president and then to executive vice president.
If he is confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Sabatini will preside over a state agency with a $5.8 billion budget.
Mr. Sabatini, father of two children, lives with his wife, Marilyn, in Severna Park in Anne Arundel County.
Don't ask, don't lie
A Republican state senator launched an effort to block a Baltimore judge's reappointment to the bench because he said she lied about her sexuality on an application for military service in the 1980s.
Sen. Alex Mooney, Frederick Republican, said Friday he did not oppose the nomination of Judge Halee Weinstein because she is homosexual, but because she must have lied on an Army application requiring her to declare her sexuality.
Judge Weinstein applied to serve in the military in the 1980s, prior to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy ordered by President Clinton. She was appointed to the Baltimore city District Court last August by former Gov. Parris N. Glendening, Democrat.
"The law is the law, the law is passed by the government, and she decided to lie on her forms," said Mr. Mooney. "As a judge she is going to be sitting over people that falsify documents. It's an ethical question."
The Maryland Senate must affirm the appointment. Gov. Ehrlich supports Judge Weinstein's nomination. He said he would ask Mr. Mooney to drop his opposition.
Slaughter back in
The Virginia Senate and the Warner administration struck a deal in Richmond on Friday to restore Democratic environmentalist Kay Slaughter to the State Water Control Board at least for now.
The agreement requires Ms. Slaughter, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, to obtain a formal opinion from the Virginia State Bar stating her previous representation of groups suing the water board is not a conflict of interests.
If the state bar rules that Ms. Slaughter has a conflict, the administration has agreed to remove her from the board, Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle said.
Ms. Slaughter said in a telephone interview that she had already decided to seek a formal opinion and that she would resign if it is unfavorable. An informal review by the state bar's chief ethics counsel already has cleared her of any conflict.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted 20-19 on Feb. 2 to reject Democratic Gov. Mark R. Warner's nominee. The House of Delegates, citing the informal bar opinion, restored Ms. Slaughter's name to a list of gubernatorial appointees late Thursday night and sent it back to the Senate.
The Senate voted 23-13, with one abstention, to restore Miss Slaughter.
Guys and dolls
Delegate Richard H. Black, Loudoun County Republican, upset pro-choice colleagues in the Senate last week when he sent them a letter urging them to support pro-life legislation, which had recently passed the House.
"Struggling infants are chemically scalded or slashed apart with jagged knives," Mr. Black, a leading pro-life lawmaker, wrote on official state stationary to the 40 senators.
Included in the letter was something extra: an anatomically correct, plastic doll representing an 11-week-old fetus.
"Abortionists kill most babies at this stage of development," wrote Mr. Black. "They receive no painkillers and experience excruciating pain and terror during the final moments of life."
The senators, 23 Republicans and 17 Democrats, will have the chance to vote on various measures passed in the House earlier this session, including a ban on partial-birth abortion and a requirement for minors to obtain permission from a parent or guardian before having the procedure.
Pro-choice senators were appalled, saying it took away from the decorum of the state Senate. Even some pro-life colleagues were disappointed.
"I wish he hadn't done it," said House Speaker William J. Howell, Stafford County Republican.
Mr. Howell has a solid pro-life record but said he feared Mr. Black's actions were taking away from the other accomplishments and goals of the 2003 session.
Mr. Black was unapologetic.
"I want each one of them to know what they're talking about when we talk about killing children," he said. "It's my belief that abortion is going to end in America within 10 years."
Heading home
Lisa McMurray has been with Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine since the former Richmond mayor began his campaign for the No. 2 job in the state back in 2001.
Miss McMurray, Mr. Kaine's chief of staff, has decided however she has had enough of the policy side of politics. After the General Assembly session ends later this month, Miss McMurray will pack her bags and head to Mississippi to help manage the re-election campaign of Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.
"This is 98 percent exciting and 2 percent bittersweet," Mr. Kaine said to the Virginia Capital Correspondents Association dinner Wednesday night when he announced Miss McMurray's plans. "We will miss her."
Before working for Mr. Kaine, Miss McMurray worked on the election campaign of now U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
No word on whether Miss McMurray will return in 2005 to manage what will likely be Mr. Kaine's next race: a campaign for a promotion to the top job in the state.
Mary Shaffrey and S.A. Miller contributed to this report.

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